Twitter API Access Charges Could Price Out Many Apps and Researchers

A Big Increase in Costs for Access to Twitter’s API

Twitter’s API has provided developers and researchers with access to tweets at scale, enabling third-party analytics and analysis of tweet content. Until recently, Twitter had offered free basic access to its API. However, the company recently announced that it would be cutting off its free access tier to curb misuse by developers.

New Twitter API Access Costs

Last month, Twitter announced its basic plan, which is significantly limited in access. The company also recently communicated to developers the new access costs that are much higher than before. Developers will need to pay a minimum of $42,000 per month to access the ‘Small’ API access package. Before the change, the highest tier was $2,899 per month for Twitter’s ‘Premium’ plan.

According to Wired, the pricing plans will become effective within months. The price hike will have a significant impact on many API users, which will likely lead to the shutdown of many third-party Twitter apps and tools that have built their businesses based on the previous API charges.

Twitter 2.0’s Radical Business Reformation Plan

The Twitter price hike is the latest in Twitter 2.0’s radical business reformation plan, which new CEO Elon Musk is leading. After taking over the app, Musk found it was losing $4 million per day, which led to his initial decision to cut staff by 70% to reduce costs.

Musk and his team have since shut down one of Twitter’s data centers and several international offices. The latest effort to generate more revenue is the significant increase in costs for API access. Musk and Co. see Twitter’s data and licensing with revenue of over $500 million per year as another opportunity to squeeze additional money from the Twitter stone.

The Risk of Losing Out

As Twitter seeks revenue opportunities, some advertisers are being spooked by Musk’s changes, and Twitter’s ad revenue is down 50% year-over-year. Around 70 of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have reportedly not resumed spending in the app due to Musk’s push to dilute Twitter’s previous rules around acceptable speech, which has also seen Musk reinstate over 60,000 accounts that had previously been banned from the app.

While there is some logic to pushing for more revenue, Twitter continues to run the risk of losing out through its aggressive reformation push. It is crucial to the broader developer and researcher ecosystem to balance pushing for revenue with better ingratiation with the developer community, which Twitter had worked towards previously by providing more access.


As Twitter seeks sustainable business, it is pushing for more revenue from anywhere it can. The question now is whether this increase will drive additional revenue or price out too many users while also reducing Twitter’s importance. The updated pricing will likely undo some of the previous efforts to reach out to the developer community. Twitter runs the risk of losing out through its aggressive reformation push, but only time will tell the outcome of the Twitter 2.0 revolution.